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Meadville falls to Archbishop Wood in Class 5A title game

Archbishop Wood's Collin Gillespie drives against Meadville during the PIAA boys' Class 5A state basketball tournament Friday, March 24, 2017, in Hershey, Pa (James Robinson/PennLive.com via AP)

HERSHEY — History was going to be made regardless of the outcome of Friday’s PIAA Class 5A boys final.

Meadville and Archbishop Wood both entered the game in search of the first state championship in program history — when the dust settled, it was Wood celebrating a 73-40 win over the Bulldogs at Hershey’s Giant Center.

Tyree Pickron scored 18 points to lead the Vikings in the win while Villanova recruit Collin Gillespie added 15. Gillespie nearly had a triple-double with 10 rebounds and eight assists, and 6-11 forward Seth Pinkney finished with 11 points, 11 rebounds and blocked four shots.

Only three players found the scoresheet for Meadville, led by Armoni Foster’s 17 points. Simeal Wofford and Lashon Lindsey added 14 and nine points, respectively.

Archbishop Wood stormed out of the gate with a 17-5 first quarter and extended the lead to 19 points at the half. The Vikings continued to knock down shots after the break and finished the night with 11 three-pointers. Pickron connected five times from beyond the arc while Gillespie hit three shots from long range.

Meadville’s season ends with an overall record of 26-2, the only other loss coming to David Morris and the Strong Vincent Colonels. Strong Vincent plays Imhotep Charter for the Class 4A Championship Saturday at 2 p.m.

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2A Boys

Sewickley Academy 68, Constitution 63

HERSHEY (AP) — Able to shrug off a slow start — and even a late shot in regulation — Sewickley Academy collared a 68-63 victory in overtime over Constitution in the PIAA’s Class 2A boys basketball championship Friday at Hershey’s Giant Center.

Justin Pryor collected 14 of his 21 points in the second half as Win Palmer’s fundamentally sound Panthers, down 16-4 early and 31-23 at the break, dug in and played the Philadelphia-based Generals nose up down the stretch.

Nate Ridgeway also had a big second half for Sewickley Academy (25-4), banking 14 of his 16 points after the break. Ridgeway and Pryor also combined for seven of the nine points the Panthers scored in the extra session.

Palmer’s Panthers, trailing by three late in regulation, pulled even at 59-all when David Groetsch buried a trey with just over a minute to play. Constitution worked the clock down and took a timeout before electric lead guard Tamir Green shot a contested 3-pointer in the final seconds of regulation that would not drop.

Green finished with 21 points to lead Robert Moore’s Generals (19-10), who last captured a state championship in 2015. Green had 19 points in the second half.

Maurice Waters, whose early play staked Constitution to a 16-4 lead late in the opening quarter, added 19 points and 11 rebounds. By the time the first media timeout arrived midway through the first quarter, Waters had eight points and five boards.

While Sewickley Academy was able to even the score (23-23) late in the opening half, an 8-0 spurt at the close of the second quarter had Constitution up 31-23.

Once a Chris Groetsch trey gave Sewickley its first lead (34-33) near the midway point of the third quarter, the game swung back and forth the rest of the way.

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6A Girls

Boyertown 46, North Allegheny 35

HERSHEY (AP) — Struggling to knock down shots consistently in the opening half, a determined Boyertown was not about to let those issues prove bothersome.

So all Jason Bieber’s Bears did was dig in and play even harder.

Abby Kapp racked up a powerful double-double, pocketing 17 points and grabbing 13 rebounds as Boyertown shrugged off a halftime deficit and charged back to defeat North Allegheny 46-35 in the PIAA Class 6A girls basketball championship Friday night at Hershey’s electrically charged Giant Center.

Victoria Boalton and Kylie Webb added nine points apiece for the Bears (28-4), who trailed 19-14 at halftime before authoring a strong second-half comeback that led to their first state basketball championship.

Boyertown shot just 22 percent (4-for-18) from the field before the break, but knocked down five of its seven field-goal attempts in the third quarter and took a 26-21 lead.

Boyertown’s lead continued to grow in the final quarter, reaching 11 points several times before the Bears tipped off their championship celebration.

Piper Morningstar topped North Allegheny (28-2) with 10 points. Hailey Zeise added 12 rebounds for the Tigers, the District 7 champions.

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1A Girls

Lebanon Catholic 55, Juniata Valley 43

HERSHEY (AP) — Even an early, early deficit was not enough to prevent Lebanon Catholic from roaring back and taking control of its situation.

And while Patti Hower’s club needed to absorb a comeback bid in the second half, the Beavers side-stepped that effort and kept moving forward.

Today, thanks to a satisfying 55-43 victory over District 6 runner-up Juniata Valley, Lebanon Catholic continues to celebrate the Class A girls basketball championship it claimed Friday afternoon at Hershey’s Giant Center.

Friday’s victory ended a 22-season championship drought for Hower’s program, which last claimed state gold in 1995. Lebanon Catholic also won a state title in 1992.

Alexis Hill netted 20 points and grabbed 14 rebounds for Hower’s Beavers (25-7), who spotted Juniata Valley the first six points of the game before unloading a 20-1 outburst that had Lebanon Catholic up 20-7 late in the opening half.

Celine Mars added 14 points for the District 3 champions, while Neesha Pierre tacked on nine points and snared 12 rebounds.

Maddie Mattas scored 11 points and Halee Smith finished with 10 rebounds for Juniata Valley (24-6), which climbed within four points (25-21) early in the third quarter despite connecting on just 11.1 percent (3-for-27) of its first-half field goals.

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